Although I am not a Catholic, I have the utmost respect for devoted Christians such as Therese. I did this portrait using coloured pencils. The flowers are symbolic of her name … The Little Flower.
Marie Francoise Therese Martin was born at 42 Rue St. Blaise, Alencon, Lower Normandy, on 2nd January 1873. At the tender age of fifteen she entered the Carmelite Order of Nuns and went to live in the Convent in Lisieux.
Therese identified with ordinary people, practised humility, and styled herself as The Little Flower of Jesus.
Her face in this portrait reflects the pain and suffering she experienced as a result of tuberculosis. Therese died in agony on 30th September 1897, aged only 24.
She died holding her crucifix and uttering the words, “Oh! … I love him! … My God, I … love … thee!”
Therese was canonised at Rome on 17th May 1925, five days after the ceremony to canonise Joan of Arc.